If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.
Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.
The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.
Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.
But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.
Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?
This is the sequel to Victoria Aveyard‘s Red Queen and if you haven’t read the book, I do not suggest you read on. I won’t spoil the content of Glass Sword, but it will still give things away for the series as a whole, especially the first part.
I should probably start by saying that I was one of the people who absolutely loved Red Queen. I rated it 5 stars, not because I thought it didn’t have any flaws, but rather because I valued the entertainment factor that much. Now, I wish I could say the same about Glass Sword, but somehow it was a real let down.
We actually start right back in the action with Mare and Cal trying to flee from Maven (who I still hold a candle for). It was exciting, it was exhilarating, but unfortunately it doesn’t last for very long. Mare’s main goal to find others like her is a commendable one, but it makes for a slow story. There was a lot of traveling, a lot of Mare not trusting anyone and going in circles with her thoughts. And I can tell you that the repetitiveness of the book wasn’t really something that spoke to me. Every now and then there would be a spark of excitement, something intriguing happening, just for it to last a maximum of 10 pages and then go back to the slow pace.
I think the main issue here was that we had no real concept of the size or the areas of Norta and the surrounding kingdoms. They traveled miles and miles, introduced a ton of new people, but without seeing a map and having a real connection to any of the newbies, it was a little difficult to keep track.
Another thing that bothered me was Mare herself. I get that the betrayal from Red Queen made it difficult for her to trust people, but even when they actively prove her otherwise, she believes she is all alone. I’ve read enough about dystopian heroes and heroines to know that that’s bad. You can never make it alone and that made her behaviour so frustrating. She clearly wanted the people around, but kept pushing them away at every turn – lying to them and to herself.
However, enough with the bad stuff, there were a lot of things that I liked too. A lot of characters get a more page time, like Farley, but as I mentioned new ones were introduced as well. Some of them really stood out and I am certain they will play a bigger role in the future. I enjoyed seeing how everyone changed with time and ultimately also grew up. I have to admit that I am still super intrigued by Maven. He is sort of becoming a reverse Warner from Shatter Me and that gives me hope that he’s not all evil … I don’t know why I still carry a torch for him. The new abilities were also really cool, even though I still think that Mare’s ability to create electricity out of nowhere is among the best.
The main reason for this not being a flat out 3 stars, but 3.5 were the last 50 to 60 pages! They broke my heart, had me crying and angry at the same time. Even though the book really dragged in parts, those final pages were what really got to me and what assured that I will definitely pick up the next books. Yet I cannot help but wonder if it was really necessary to broaden this series from a trilogy to four books …
Fazit: 3.5/5 stars! It had it’s moments but unfortunately it wasn’t nearly as gripping in total as the first installment. I am hoping for a better sequel.
Have you read the series? What are your thoughts on Glass Sword? Does the book suffer from second-book-syndrome?